More than 4,000 travellers from Malaysia approved to enter Singapore via air VTL

The application window for Malaysian travellers to apply for the pass opened at 10am on Nov 22, 2021.
The application window for Malaysian travellers to apply for the pass opened at 10am on Nov 22, 2021. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - In just 14 hours after applications opened on Monday (Nov 22), more than 4,000 travellers from Malaysia were approved to enter Singapore under the air vaccinated travel lane (VTL) set up between the two countries.

Responding to media queries, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Tuesday that 4,124 travellers from Malaysia have been issued vaccinated travel passes as at 23.59pm on Monday.

The application window for Malaysian travellers to apply for the pass, which will allow them to fly between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore without quarantine from Nov 29, opened at 10am on Monday.

Of the 4,124 approved travellers, 1,792 are short-term visitors and 2,332 are long-term pass holders.

On Monday, the SafeTravel website, where foreign travellers to Singapore can apply for the vaccinated travel pass, crashed despite the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority anticipating a surge in traffic.

Applications for travellers from Indonesia also opened at 10am on Monday, and the website failed when nearly 35,000 users tried to log in at the same time.

As at 23.59pm on Monday, 2,681 travellers from Indonesia have been approved to enter Singapore under the VTL, of whom 2,068 are short-term visitors.

The VTL with Indonesia, starting on Nov 29, is unidirectional - travellers from Indonesia can enter Singapore without quarantine, but Indonesia remains closed to Singapore travellers.

Pre-Covid-19, Singapore-Kuala Lumpur was the busiest international air route in the world, with about 40 flights daily and an average of 7,000 arrivals a day at Changi Airport.

Indonesia was one of Changi Airport's top three markets pre-pandemic. Even during Covid-19 last year, it made up 11.6 per cent of the Republic's tourism receipts.

Meanwhile, 1,126 travellers from India, nine from Finland, and 19 from Sweden have also been issued vaccinated travel passes.

Applications to travel from these countries to Singapore also began on Monday, with the three VTLs due to begin on Nov 29.

So far, a total of 68,531 foreign travellers have received passes to enter Singapore via the 18 VTLs. Three more VTLs, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, will start on Dec 6.

Of the 13 VTLs that are in operation, the most popular are with the United Kingdom (12,139 passes issued), Germany (10,834) and the United States (9,968). The VTL with Germany began on Sept 8 and those with the UK and US on Oct 19.

A total of 4,959 travellers from South Korea have been approved to enter Singapore via the VTL that began on Nov 15, and 5,964 from Australia via the VTL that opened on Nov 8.

The least used VTL is with Brunei, with only 530 travellers approved to travel here since applications opened on Sept 1.